Sewing the birds…


And I mean lots of birds! This is such a cute print, but I know the pics don’t really showcase it well. The birds are little!

The fabric is a rayon/lycra from Fabric Mart , and it was a bit of a surprise when it arrived. It’s heavy and very stretchy in both directions. Hmm. I went looking and found it on Craftsy, which does a nice job of giving the fabric particulars. So – this fabric is 8% lycra, and it’s hefty at 8.8 oz. I knew finding a good application, other than leggings, would be dicey.

So I started with a Bantam Vest from the Merchant & Mills Workbook. It’s one of my very favorite patterns for sleep tops and layers under cardigans, and I make it in both knits and wovens.


bantam 2

Working with the vest gave me lots of opportunity to find the right tension, pressure, and stitch length for this spongy fabric, on both my sewing machine and my serger. The ripper got a bit of a workout…

bantam 1

Next up, I cut out ‘my’ sharkbite tunic, the one that started as a Tessuti Frankie dress and got completely redrafted. I never did make a Frankie dress – that pattern just didn’t work for me (small armscye, narrow sleeves – those critical bits).


A couple more pics – this is fun to wear! A little sassy…



On other fronts, I’ve been freaking out because my fabric stash is pitiful. And I only have one fabric that’s suitable for spring and summer. What to do…

Solution – I ordered 3 woven cottons from Hancocks of Paducah, all on sale for 5.99/yard. BTW, the best places to lurk sales for premium quality quilting cottons, IMHO, are Hancocks of Paducah and Hawthorne Threads.

new fabric

Feeling calmer with fabric on the way, a parting shot, retro to the max – Easter 1959:

easter 1959

Ciao! Coco

12 thoughts on “Sewing the birds…

  1. Hi Coco,
    I am a longtime reader and have learned sooooo much from your blog. When you showed the Diane dress I was smitten. I found B6308 See&Sew and am anxious to actually SEW something for the first time in several years.

    Over the years you have used such lovely prints for your maxi dresses.Then you said the designer for Diane uses quilting cottons and then showed your 3 choices today. I am ready to jump onto the wagon.

    My question, though, is whether or not you have to iron the garments made of quilting cotton? Past experience scares me off 100% cotton since I know it will just SIT there after laundry day and I will end up grabbing one of the tnt poly/cotton combos that are in the closet. Of course I could get the ironing board set up permanently but that is another story.

    A little touch-up… maybe…but full scale pressing for a maxi length dress = not so likely. And Iowa summers aren’t a whole lot better than Florida, so multiple wearings aren’t likely either :-((

    Thanks for any info/advice you might share!
    Jeannine (jlsewsew at Sitchers Guild)


    1. Hi Jeannine – and thank you, I’m so glad you’re inspired to make yourself something for spring. I don’t iron!! except when I’m sewing, then I iron constantly. Another story, but I’m a big fan of ironing every seam when it’s sewn, so my ironing board is right next to my sewing machines.

      Quilting cottons are two general types: one is like sheeting, close weave, smooth – Art Gallery uses this a lot, and most batiks are on this substrate. BTW, I don’t buy Art Gallery cottons any more, because I had color runs on two different pieces. It’s expensive, and I was crushed.

      And the other type is widely used, and it’s often described as calico. The weave is marginally looser, and the finish is soft. It’s my favorite. I wash everything in cold water on gentle, then dry on gentle with a softener sheet (unless it’s a synthetic like rayon). I pull out the garment before the dry cycle stops, hang it, and that’s it!

      I think my things look nice this way. And they wrinkle less during wear than they would if they were pressed! Hope your project is fun. Hope you’ll let me know how it turns out – Coco


      1. Thank you so much! It sounds like I will make a trip to Joann’s also, as soon as can get over a very unwelcome virus!


  2. How did I not know about Hawthorne Threads? I’ve already found five things I want. *sigh* Thanks–I think!–for the tip!

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    1. HThreads are awesome! Beautiful beautiful fabric. Love how they show fabric in projects, give all the color ways, etc. Their selection by color tools are incredible. And you won’t believe how they ship. Pressed, folded, wrapped. I would like to just go and sit in their warehouse…


  3. Coco, are you able to wear rayon? Joanne’s has a Spring/Summer collection of both knits and woven rayon by Kathy Davis. May be too pastel for you but I believe there are a few navy/whites in there. All are light and floaty except for a couple of crisper “linen-like” rayon wovens. Trying to enable your stash!😁


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